A Difference of Two Months
What a difference two months makes.
On April 19th, peaceful protests turned violent and Nicaragua has since erupted into a state of chaos. If you are interested more in the politics of what is going in Nicaragua, there are articles on BBC, NPR, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. I will, however, give you a picture of what it looks like here. The capital city of Managua has had many marches and different forms of protests. Violence has escalated there and the death count in the whole country is between 180-200. The city of Masaya has declared itself an autonomous city of Nicaragua. Leon, a city about an hour away from us in Chichigalpa, currently has around 400 physical barricades throughout the streets (but this is an ever changing number). The roadblocks are located all over the country making it difficult for food to get delivered.
Many of our university students have had their classes changed to online studies for now as all of the schools are located in Leon and the students cannot get there. While Chichigalpa has had several marches, the city remains somewhat calm. Prices of food are going up and some items are getting harder to find. However, classes continue to happen as normally as possible. We are thankful that we purchased school supplies for the entire school year in January so we are stocked to keep our students equipped. We usually purchase the second uniforms of the year in July but have decided to wait. It is too dangerous to make the journey to Managua to buy such a large quantity of things. We will give out as usual for the second pair of school shoes.
Most people and teams with plans to come to Nicaragua have cancelled their upcoming trips. This affects sponsorship in that we now have no way for gifts and physical letters to get to your student(s). Instead we are handling sponsor communication through email. Any communication can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember that, starting this year, our students send letters and updates in response to letters sent to them.
It is difficult to explain how hard it is to plan anything over the long term. We are truly living day-to-day unsure of what will happen next. If the political uprising continues and starts to affect Chichigalpa more, we will evaluate how our program can best adapt to a different Nicaragua.
I am so proud of how amazing Claudia and Gabriela have been during all of this. Both of these powerhouse women are on the staff of the sponsorship program. They have stepped up to do so much as I (Cadence) have been unable to commute to Chichigalpa normally. I continue to maintain the administrative side of the student sponsorship program but they are taking some time to run things on the local level. While I never would have thought or hoped for this to be the reason why, I have wanted to let them try running things. I trust and believe in them. They want our students to succeed and have such a passion for their own community. We talked about what our program goals are for the rest of the year and Gabriela said that she wants to evaluate how well our tutoring program is doing and change anything that needs to be different to make sure all students are succeeding. My goal has always been for sponsorship to be self-sustaining on the local level. I couldn’t have asked for better people.
This is a confusing and difficult time for everyone here in Nicaragua. Please do not hesitate to reach out at email@example.com if you have any questions.